Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake for spring will refresh your soul + simple tutorial

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: When life gives her lemons, Jennifer Garner knows just what to do with them—she bakes a cake!

The actress and Once Upon a Farm co-founder took to Instagram this week with another edition of her “#PretendCookingShow,” and this episode promises to be a favorite of folks with a sweet tooth.

This time around, Garner put together a lusciously fluffy lemon olive oil cake with help from her pals Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the restaurateurs behind some of Jennifer’s favorite Los Angeles eateries, such as Son of a Gun. With Jen curating the recipe selection while showing off her dreamy kitchen, and Jon and Vinny offering great baking tips to succeed, this Pretend Cooking Show might just be the most informative one yet.

Stay with this section of Cooking in the Wonder section of Eternal Pen magazine.

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake

Jennifer Garner's lemon cake1
Image source: simplyrecipes

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: As you can see, this recipe calls for amaro del capo. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an Italian liquor made with herbs, flowers, fruits and roots. That said, if you don’t want to buy a whole bottle just for this recipe, you could use another liquor like rum or bourbon or even more vanilla extract. You’ll also notice that this recipe calls for all-purpose flour, which you can swap for whole-wheat flour to add in some fiber.

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: Unlike traditional cakes, this one uses olive oil instead of butter, reducing the saturated fat and increasing the heart-healthy unsaturated fat.

While you could probably try this recipe in a deep 9-inch cake pan, the chefs recommend a springform pan. This makes releasing the cake from the pan an absolute breeze, especially if you generously add olive oil to the pan and line it with the recommended parchment paper.

Jennifer Garner's lemon cake2
Image source: simplyrecipes

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: Once your pan is prepared and you’ve settled on what olive oil you’ll use, Jon and Vinny recommend pre-measuring as many ingredients as possible. There’s a reason why all the television chefs make their recipes with little prep bowls with the ingredients and measuring cups ready to go on the counter—it’s a great way to ensure you don’t skip any steps in the recipe as you go.

We’ve all made that mistake before, whether forgetting an essential ingredient in your dinner or leaving out the bay leaf in something like our Creamy White Bean Soup. But while you can usually fix a little mistake while cooking, baking is much less forgiving. If you don’t want to pre-measure all of your ingredients, at least get all of them out—from the bottle of olive oil to the milk and the raw sugar. That way, you can survey the scene and put away items as you go, just like when you check off a list.

To get started, preheat your oven to 350°F and combine the eggs, oil and sugar until smooth. Then slowly whisk in the milk, amaro, zests, lemon juice and vanilla. If you have extra hands around the house, asking a friend or family member to slowly pour in those wet ingredients as you whisk can be a great way to work smarter, not harder.

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: In another large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Be sure to stir the flour with a spoon or fork, fluffing it before measuring to get the most accurate quantity. Jon and Vinny say it’s a step many home cooks forget, but it’s crucial to getting the best result from your cake. And as you can see, Jen spoons and levels the flour in a measuring cup instead of scooping it up with the measuring cup. Doing the latter can compact the flour, and you could get more flour in the cup than the recipe intends.

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: Next, combine the wet and dry ingredients by making a well in the dry bowl and slowly pouring in the wet ingredients, incorporating as you go. Whisk until the batter is *almost* completely smooth—a few lumps are totally OK.

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: Pour your batter into the pan, sprinkle raw sugar on top from edge to edge—take your time to cover the surface—and bake for about an hour. When the top is pretty and caramelized, pull the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan before releasing it. Once cool, you can remove it from the springform and use powdered sugar and a sieve to lightly dust the cake. Then it’s as simple as slicing it up and serving!

Jennifer Garner’s lemon cake: Like with any cake recipe, there’s bound to be a fair amount of cleanup time necessary in the aftermath, but otherwise, this is a pretty simple baking project. Pair it with lovely spring weather, fresh seasonal fruit and good company, and you’ve got a successful shindig on your hands.


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